have we been overcharged for gas? faulty meter?

edited 30 May 2013 at 7:58PM in Energy
8 replies 1.1K views
simon555simon555 Forumite
1 Post
edited 30 May 2013 at 7:58PM in Energy
We have over the past year or so been seeing bills which were much higher than expected. I chalked it down to price rises, but the recent bill we had has made me stop and think something is up. I was hoping someone here may be able to offer some advice?

So we have just received our bill for three months from January 15th to april 22nd of this year and are a bit surprised at the amount. Scottish power reckon we have used just shy of 9,000 KWH for that three month period. This is based on actual meter readings that we have given them.

Theres two adults and one child in the house. We live in south wales in a 3 bed mid terrace with insulated loft and double glazing, have a combi gas/heating boiler which is 24kw max. All gas plumbing and appliances are less than 10 years old, everything from the meter is relatively new. Boiler inspected every year religiously. Other than that, we have only the gas hob (oven is electric) and dont cook every night. We take short showers daily, on the luke warm side - certainly not hot - and each have one bath per week.

We were also away for 3 of the the 12 week (or so) billing period - during that time the boiler was off at the mains. So for the 12 weeks we have been in the house using utilities only for 9 weeks - so basically we are looking at having used about 1,000KWH per week for a small hob and 24kw combi boiler.

There's no leaks that we can smell. When I turn off the boiler then the gas meter stops going round and nothing goes up.

Do we have a faulty meter? 1,000 KWh of gas per week for a 3 bed terrace based on our usage and situation just sounds outrageous. I checked a few places and it seems that if we want to investigate the meter its going to cost us a bit of cash to do so - which is not possible given the huge gas bill we have just received.

I get we had colder weather during this period, but bloody hell. Even if I ran my boiler at full whack (which we have never done, it hasn't been over 50% on the heating setting on the front) is it even possible to consume this amount of gas? We have never in 10 years of being here used more gas than electric until the last 12 months, now our gas is 3x or 4x more than electric typically.

thanks in advance

Replies

  • Hi Simon, I work for one of the big six energy suppliers, 9000kwh is very excessive in 9 weeks & personally feel something needs to be looked at based on your household information. First thing I would do is to record meter reads on a hourly basis to calculate how many units is advancing, if its still high then the meter could certainly be faulty & ask the supplier for someone to check this. If it turns out that gas has been leaking then a new meter will be fitted and they would need to re-bill your account on their predictions, hope the helps :)
  • edited 30 May 2013 at 10:31PM
    chanz4chanz4 Forumite
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    edited 30 May 2013 at 10:31PM
    Hi Simon, I work for one of the big six energy suppliers, 9000kwh is very excessive in 9 weeks & personally feel something needs to be looked at based on your household information. First thing I would do is to record meter reads on a hourly basis to calculate how many units is advancing, if its still high then the meter could certainly be faulty & ask the supplier for someone to check this. If it turns out that gas has been leaking then a new meter will be fitted and they would need to re-bill your account on their predictions, hope the helps :)

    Take reads at the same time for 7 days, don't forget we have had a very very bad winter and what maybe a 3 bed semi too your area as small may be huge to someone else.

    The poster above is not correct about rebilling, as if a leak is after the outlet you are liable. However do the 7 day monitor if its about the same its nothing to worry about. A meter test costs about £65, big six sounds like tax power
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
  • edited 31 May 2013 at 12:43AM
    MrsPBikerChickMrsPBikerChick Forumite
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    edited 31 May 2013 at 12:43AM
    OP, I don't really have a lot of advice to offer but would be really interested to find out how you get on. We got a monumental gas bill for the winer period too - well over £500 for 2 people out all day at work in a small terrace right on the south coast with only the boiler using gas, which was more than 3 times the bill for the same period the previous year. Its never quite sat right with me but I wasn't sure how to query it as the meter readings were correct.

    Does anyone know whether British Gas will do a meter test if you have their HomeServe boiler, electrics and drains cover?

    Keep us posted? (no pun intended)
    I don't like chick flicks, I get grazed knuckles doing my own car repairs and I ride a massive cruiser motorbike. To many this makes me a bloke in disguise but to my husband this makes me perfect
    :A
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    Like most of the regulars I monitor the Utility accounts for friends/famiily, one of whom lives in a house exactly as you have described as your own - 9,000 Kwh is their use for an entire year

    The figures point to the possibility of an Imperial/Metric meter mix-up
    Your meter will be marked ft3 if it's an Imperial model or m3 if it's Metric - Check which is yours

    Look at the bill and divide the Kwh charged into the meter units used - If your meter is Metric the answer should be appx. 11, if it's Imperial the answer will be appx. 31 - If the billing does not match the meter's marking get onto your supplier immediately
  • chanz4chanz4 Forumite
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    OP, I don't really have a lot of advice to offer but would be really interested to find out how you get on. We got a monumental gas bill for the winer period too - well over £500 for 2 people out all day at work in a small terrace right on the south coast with only the boiler using gas, which was more than 3 times the bill for the same period the previous year. Its never quite sat right with me but I wasn't sure how to query it as the meter readings were correct.

    Does anyone know whether British Gas will do a meter test if you have their HomeServe boiler, electrics and drains cover?

    Keep us posted? (no pun intended)

    Any supplier can have your meter tested, but their is a charge if found to be correct. We had a bad winter, even myn was high and Im very frugal
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
  • WywthWywth Forumite
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    simon555 wrote: »
    We have over the past year or so been seeing bills which were much higher than expected. I chalked it down to price rises, but the recent bill we had has made me stop and think something is up. I was hoping someone here may be able to offer some advice?

    So we have just received our bill for three months from January 15th to april 22nd of this year and are a bit surprised at the amount. Scottish power reckon we have used just shy of 9,000 KWH for that three month period. This is based on actual meter readings that we have given them.

    Theres two adults and one child in the house. We live in south wales in a 3 bed mid terrace with insulated loft and double glazing, have a combi gas/heating boiler which is 24kw max. All gas plumbing and appliances are less than 10 years old, everything from the meter is relatively new. Boiler inspected every year religiously. Other than that, we have only the gas hob (oven is electric) and dont cook every night. We take short showers daily, on the luke warm side - certainly not hot - and each have one bath per week.

    We were also away for 3 of the the 12 week (or so) billing period - during that time the boiler was off at the mains. So for the 12 weeks we have been in the house using utilities only for 9 weeks - so basically we are looking at having used about 1,000KWH per week for a small hob and 24kw combi boiler.

    There's no leaks that we can smell. When I turn off the boiler then the gas meter stops going round and nothing goes up.

    Do we have a faulty meter? 1,000 KWh of gas per week for a 3 bed terrace based on our usage and situation just sounds outrageous. I checked a few places and it seems that if we want to investigate the meter its going to cost us a bit of cash to do so - which is not possible given the huge gas bill we have just received.

    I get we had colder weather during this period, but bloody hell. Even if I ran my boiler at full whack (which we have never done, it hasn't been over 50% on the heating setting on the front) is it even possible to consume this amount of gas? We have never in 10 years of being here used more gas than electric until the last 12 months, now our gas is 3x or 4x more than electric typically.

    thanks in advance

    It's not as simple as a boiler dial on 50% of it's travel only consumes 50% of it's peak amount, but if it were, your boiler could consume over 2000kWh in a week.
  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Simon, I work for one of the big six energy suppliers, 9000kwh is very excessive in 9 weeks & personally feel something needs to be looked at based on your household information. First thing I would do is to record meter reads on a hourly basis to calculate how many units is advancing, if its still high then the meter could certainly be faulty & ask the supplier for someone to check this. If it turns out that gas has been leaking then a new meter will be fitted and they would need to re-bill your account on their predictions, hope the helps :)

    If there has been any leak that would even marginally affect the bill, the occupier would have noticed this, either by a smell or something even more obvious :eek:

    _67870403_explosion7.jpg
  • Scottish_PowerScottish_Power Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    1.3K Posts
    simon555 wrote: »
    We have over the past year or so been seeing bills which were much higher than expected. I chalked it down to price rises, but the recent bill we had has made me stop and think something is up. I was hoping someone here may be able to offer some advice?

    Simon

    If you check our profile you can send us an e-mail and we can check your bill.

    I agree that you should check if your meter is metric or imperial and compare with the meter number and calculation on your bill.

    Also was the January reading an estimate? Is this a catch-up for a longer period? We have seen some higher than last winter gas bills due to the extended cold period.

    Hope that is helps and happy to be of further assistance if you need it.

    David
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Scottish Power. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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